The board of the Scottish Premier League are set to meet on Monday to discuss the late payment of wages at Tynecastle for the second successive month.
Despite past comments from Hearts manager John McGlynn that he was not too worried about some employees’ wages being delayed for the fifth time in recent months, for it to happen again after significant cost cutting at the Edinburgh side is a worrying sign.
While the SPL did not impose sanctions on Hearts last season, following four periods of late payments, they did warn of potential consequences if it was repeated again.
STV Sport reported that the ‘Gorgie club are in the process of detailing in writing to the SPL which players have not been paid. It is understood they have already notified the league verbally’.
Regulation A6.22 states Hearts have two days to tell the SPL who is yet to receive their salary, as well as detailing the amount outstanding.
Rule A6.21 outlines it is now a breach of league regulations not to pay players in line with their contracts.
It states: “Except in circumstances where there is a bona fide dispute as to liability for payment by the Club, where the Club is entitled to deduct or otherwise withhold payment of a sum otherwise due or where the Club takes, suffers or is subject to an Insolvency Event, any Club which shall fail to pay any sum due by it to a Player under and in terms of that Player’s Contract of Service and/or any sum due by it under a contract of employment to any Club Official engaged in football management and/or football coaching (a “Remuneration Default”) shall be in breach of these Rules.”
However, the BBC are reporting that after last month’s delay the SPL imposed a transfer embargo on the Edinburgh side. A decision which the SPL failed to make public and questions must be asked of the governing body into why they failed to disclose this at the time.
Both parties did not make any comment on the embargo being imposed or why it had been kept private.
On a relevant issue, the Edinburgh Evening News reported that Hearts’ parent group, Ukio Bankas Investment Group (UBIG), have not funded the club since the start of this year, although it supports it through debt facilities.
Over the summer, the club drastically reduced their wage bill and operating costs in a bid to reduce their sizeable debt, which currently sits at £24 million.
The high-earners that have failed to receive their wages this month, have now been informed that their salaries will be processed as soon as possible, with the players not looking at take any action at this moment in time. Although the Scottish PFA are reportedly keeping a close eye on the issue.